A DNA vaccine for West Nile virus (WNV) was evaluated to determine whether its use could protect fish crows (Corvus ossifragus) from fatal WNV infection. Captured adult crows were given 0.5 mg of the DNA vaccine either orally or by intramuscular (IM) inoculation; control crows were inoculated or orally exposed to a placebo. After 6 weeks, crows were challenged subcutaneously with 105 plaque-forming units of WNV (New York 1999 strain). None of the placebo inoculated-placebo challenged birds died. While none of the 9 IM vaccine-inoculated birds died, 5 of 10 placebo-inoculated and 4 of 8 orally vaccinated birds died within 15 days after challenge. Peak viremia titers in birds with fatal WNV infection were substantially higher than those in birds that survived infection. Although oral administration of a single DNA vaccine dose failed to elicit an immune response or protect crows from WNV infection, IM administration of a single dose prevented death and was associated with reduced viremia.